Temporary separation - Is she too cold by herself?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GoldenCometLover, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi - I hope this is in the right section! [​IMG]

    My girl Rocky is on "bedrest" and is separted from the other hens due to a leg injury [​IMG]

    She is in a large dog crate on my screened in porch, my question is, since she is not in the coop with her family, what measures should I take to make sure she is warm enough?? [​IMG]

    I originally had her in the crate in the house, but it was way too warm for her (I heat with a wood stove) and even though she was farthest away in the coolest room in the house she was panting and sprawled out! [​IMG]

    So I am trying the back porch, she is protected from the elements and has tons of straw in the crate which is covered to block and draft/wind and to keep some warmth inside...am I doing enough? [​IMG]

    The night temps supposed to start to drop again this week and will get low to 30's or less through out the week...

    Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks as always! [​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    My concern with her in a crate on your porch would not be so much temperature as predator exposure (raccoons and stuff WILL break through windowscreen if they want to get to a chicken they smell inside, and then pull handfuls of living chicken out thru the bars of the dog crate... as a bunch of BYCers have found out int he past, to their dismay).

    Could you isolate her *in the coop*? If it is a walk-in sized coop, it should be possible to put her crate up on a table or on a bracket mounted to the wall, with slanted cardboard atop it so nobody can land on her roof. This would protect her from drafts and give her "company".

    If it is a tiny reach-in type coop then of course you probably can't do that and maybe predatorproofing her the best you can in the screen porch is all you can really do. In this case, I would just keep a close eye on her. Normally, as long as you have not draftproofed her crate so much it becomes humid in there, she should probably be fine into the teens or lower... but injured animals don't necessarily have quite the same tolerance to these things, so you would want to keep an eye out. In case of doubt, personally in this circumstance I would err on the side of a small safely-rigged lightbulb if she seemed to be having problems. You would probably have to put it outside the cage (on the top), though, (with the top otherwise open, too, not covered), and fiddle around with wattages, picking the lowest that seemed to do some good.

    Good luck, have fun, hope she's feeling better soon,

    Pat
     
  3. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Patandchickens! I did not even think about a raccon or anything trying to get onto the porch! [​IMG]

    I do have an enclosed chicken run, but thought leaving her out there at night in the crate would be more of an issue! It is colder out in the pen, as it is not shielded by wind etc on anyside and I do not have a spare coop to put her in.

    I thought maybe of putting her crate in the garage in my car (SUV with big cargo area) to keep her safe and maybe even warmer, for night time and then put her in the crate that's in the run with the rest of the chickens (they can't get at her to pick or anything and they keep her company but wasn't sure that was the right solution either....what do u think?? [​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Yup, I wouldn't put her in a cage in the *run*. If you don't have room in the actual *coop* (although, are you SURE you don't?), then probably the garage or screen porch is as good as it's going to get. WHich of the two is better just dpeends on your guesstimate of their respective predatorproofness and air quality. I kind of don't think putting the crate in the car is likely to be smart, both from a humidity standpoint AND from a "how much do you really want your SUV to absorb that special chicken-poo smell" standpoint.

    I'm not sure about moving her crate to the run during daytime. I think a lot of chickens would be more stressed by the moving around than by being alone; but I guess some might be fine with the move and appreciate the company. I don't know, I think it's the sort of judgement call you have to make *being there*, not over the internet [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...and a little trick to speed healing in a leg injury of any kind...put a couple of drops of liquid infant vitamins (without added iron) in her water to enhance her level of vitamin D3...[​IMG]
     
  6. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both so much...I have a large enclosed run, no walk in coop ( I wish!!) Maybe next year!! [​IMG]

    I can raccoon proof my porch, there is only one spot anything could get in if it tried hard enough, the rest is protected by lattice and is raised up off the ground. I was more worried about her being cold at night! [​IMG]

    I really thought she would prefer to be moved back to the chicken run with her family, so I have been moving her back and forth twice a day.... [​IMG]
    I will stop that for sure as I bet it is stressing her out more...

    I have been adding vitamins to her water also! She has about another week and a half in the crate and I was just trying to make sure she was not miserable or cold! I'd climb in there with her if I could fit! [​IMG]

    Thanks again for the help!!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have golden comets and I understand your concern. Your instincts about her wanting to be with the flock are correct. If you are predator-proofing the porch it's a great place for overnight and then let her have company during the day by moving the cage...[​IMG]
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last winter I put our tiny bantams in our attached garage on the nights here that got down to freezing and below. I bedded them down in dog crates filled with pine shavings (found a couple of eggs in the morning in there, too). It worked fine, except my husband wasn't too happy that I wouldn't let him park his car in there on those nights. I was worried about carbon monoxide from driving the car in and out of the garage.
     
  9. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you set up a hot water bottle in there with her (protected so that she could benefit from it, but not touch it directly while it is still hot)? Or maybe a heating pad -- if you can do that safely?


    Can you put a warm blanket around the cage, to block out cold temps and wind some?


    Can you turn on a light to give her extra heat?
     
  10. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks very much for all the tips! [​IMG]

    I threw an old pair of flannel PJs in the dryer and then put them in the crate with her last night and she snuggled right up on them! [​IMG] I covered the crate with a couple blankets and moved her right close to the sliding door so she could maybe get some residual heat off it and she was happy and perky this morning! [​IMG]

    I will do the pjs in the dryer again tonight! Only a week and a half left to go! [​IMG] If it gets colder at night I will do the heating pad for sure...for right now, she seems to be doing great! [​IMG]

    Thanks again for all the advice - knew BYC members would help out!! [​IMG]
     

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